Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Freedom in Congo Square

Freedom in Congo Square. Carole Boston Weatherford. Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie. 2016. 34 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: Mondays, there were hogs to slop, mules to train, and logs to chop. Slavery was no ways fair. Six more days to Congo Square. Tuesdays, there were cows to feed, fields to plow, and rows to seed. A moment without work was rare. Five more days to Congo Square.

Premise/plot: Freedom in Congo Square received a Caldecott Honor and a Coretta Scott King Illustrators Honor. It was well deserved. This picture book is set in New Orleans. One day a week, on Sunday, slaves and free blacks could meet together in Congo Square. It was the slaves only day off. The book explains how music and dance continued to be influential during these years.

My thoughts: I loved this one. It was simple enough that I think you could share it as a read-aloud. It didn't lack complexity, by any means, but it wasn't overly wordy. (Older readers can appreciate the foreword and the author's note.) I loved the counting down, the building up of excitement. I loved learning more about the historical roots of jazz music.

Text: 5 out of 5
Illustrations: 5 out of 5
Total: 10 out of 10
© 2017 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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